Skip to main content
Mr. Munn thought that he heard a bullet pass his head.
But he wasn't sure. He heard the reports of the revolvers.
"Oughter bushwhacked *em!" Mr. Simmons was yelling.
It looked so far to the church. You could scarcely see it
ahead. And all the pike and the fields and the fences were so
plain in that light that seemed to come upward out of the
Mr. Simmons was shouting, "Them bastards kill me,
Munn, and 'fore God, I'll hant you!'3
The church, a blur of whiteness against dark trees, crawled
toward them. It crawled, painfully. Behind, the revolvers
popped irrelevantly, flatly. The hoofs drummed the hard
pike. Then, as though with surprise, he observed that they
were even with the church. There were the crossroads, the
forked lanes toward the fords at the creek, the woods and the
They were past the church. He swung down the nearest
lanes, blindly, hoping that the mare would manage her foot-
ing. They plunged across the shallow waters of the ford, and
the splashing from the horse next to him drenched him to
But he felt nothing. Ten yards beyond the ford he pulled
into the protection of the trees. " Hurry 1" he called sharply,
" hurry 1" and was not sure that his own voice was speaking,
for it seemed calm, not the voice that should belong to him
at the moment. "Hurry! Get off! You, Simmons, Allen,
Snyder, get the horses back a little way. If they come across
that ford, cut down on them." He stared toward the ford.
The water glinted dimly there. He felt the heaving of the
mare's breath between his knees. " But they won't," he said
"They're afraid. They won't come down there, and come
He slid from the saddle, staggering almost when his feet
touched the earth.
They did not come to the ford. He kept his eyes on the
spot. Twice there was an uneven volley from the direction of
the pike. He could hear some of the bullets, very high,